52 Weeks of Fun

Not Just Destination Finders, But Destination Storytellers


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Northwoods Wildlife Center


The culmination of a dream of local veterinarian Dr. Rory Foster and his wife Linda, the Northwoods Wildlife Center was incorporated in 1979 and became a separate entity from his veterinarian clinic, Foster-Smith Animal Hospital in Minocqua. After a 2-day old fawn with a broken leg and was admitted to his clinic, the Fosters were determined to help multitudes of other wild animal species brought to the clinic by concerned citizens.

It was decided then that the Fosters would form a non-profit organization dedicated to helping injured wildlife. The Northwoods Wildlife Center wildlife hospital was built next to Dr. Foster’s practice and officially opened on June 19, 1982, becoming one of the first wildlife hospitals in the Midwest.

Education programs and the space to house permanent residents were both soon added. Dr. Foster wrote two books, Dr. Wildlife, and I Never Met an Animal I Didn’t Like, detailing the activities of the Northwoods Wildlife Center. Although Dr. Foster passed away in 1987 at the age of 37, his dream and passion have continued with the help of staff, volunteers, supporters, and interns.

Northwoods Wildlife Center provides the wildlife of the Northwoods with rescue, rehabilitation, and release services, covering roughly 25% of the state. As one of the most established wildlife rehabilitation centers in Northern Wisconsin, we admit 600-700 animals a year in need of medical treatment and care. The center’s wildlife rehabilitators are licensed through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to provide professional care for over 100 species of Wisconsin wildlife.

The Northwoods Wildlife Center also provides education to over 10,000 people each year through a combination of guided public tours of their wildlife education center and ecology-based educational programming throughout the Midwest. Daily guided tours showcase a variety of native reptiles, raptors, and scavengers. Tours are appropriate for all ages and are indoor and outdoor. Tours begin every 30 minutes throughout the year during operational hours. A recommended donation per person is accepted for admission to the Center.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Northwoods Wildlife Center

Dr. Wildlife, written by Northwoods Wildlife Center founder Dr. Rory Foster, is the story of how the Center came into being.

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  • Northwoods Wildlife Center
  • Minocqua
  • 715-356-7400